Greenwich schools embrace Schoology

As part of ongoing efforts to improve curriculum throughout the district, the Greenwich Public Schools have hired an outside firm to try and provide an efficient and coordinated system for daily student-to-teacher and teacher-to-teacher interaction.

Capitol Regional Education Center (CREC) and Schoology have been tasked with completing the district’s Curriculum and Instructional Management System (CIMS). In making the announcement,  Superintendent of Schools William McKersie said, “Implementing a state-of-the-art curriculum and instructional management system will benefit the entire district by providing opportunities for our teachers to share materials and best practices across grades and schools. It will benefit our students by providing an expanded platform for communicating with their teachers on academic work, and with their peers for collaborating on group projects.”

According to Dr. McKersie CREC/Schoology was selected after an “extensive” bidding and internal review process. The district said that teachers and administrators, including principals from the elementary, middle and high school levels in town, as well as representatives from Pupil Personnel Services were involved in the process and “unanimously endorsed the selection.”

Phillip Dunn, the district’s Director of Technology and Digital Learning said, “The implementation of Schoology will allow for a more efficient and integrated process for using, creating and sharing academic materials. This system, in coordination with other District technology systems, will ultimately manage the curriculum, instructional materials, assessments, and assignments for teachers and students.”

In a press release, the district said that Schoology was selected for several reasons including its ease of use, seamless interface capabilities and “best teacher workflow” for receiving homework, providing feedback to students and managing teaching and learning materials.

As part of its use, Schoology will support communications among teachers, students, parents and administrators and store digital assignments and assessments so they can be easily used in the classroom when teaching students.

An example of this would be having lessons provide all links to web-based instructional resources in one place so the teacher can quickly retrieve them during class and share with students.

Additionally, the district said Schoology would enable teachers to set up online groups to share best practices as well as allow students to submit homework online and get feedback from their teacher.

But work still needs to be done. Initially, the district administration said it had wanted to identify one system that could accommodate all of its needs, but that now it appears that such a system does not actually exist.

“The district is working with CREC/Schoology and the Greenwich Public Schools’ current Student Information System (SIS) vendor, Aspen, to implement or develop the following: integrated assessment capabilities, curriculum mapping and response to Intervention (RTI) and English Language Learners (ELL) programmatic workflows,” the district said in a press release.

Schoology was launched with teachers in Riverside and Hamilton Avenue Schools as part of phase one of the digital learning initiative deployment on Dec. 20 with an online tutorial.

The teachers will receive additional training and professional learning through March and can begin using components of the system with students immediately.

More information about the district’s digital learning deployment is available at Greenwichschools.org/DLE.

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